Morning light crept along the horizon, expanding further with each passing moment its domain, revealing the outlines of trees. There was a trail leading through the trees into a meadow, well-worn by the shepherds and the cattle and sheep they brought here to graze. They were absent this early, not yet stirring in their beds miles away. The grass was heavy with moisture and even as the light grew, the air turned misty and a bank of fog settled over the landscape, obscuring the trees and making the trail difficult to pick out.
Four figures emerged from the fog and stood across from each other. No one spoke or moved for a time, all of them staring at each other with a mixture of unease and disdain, bravado and fear. As the fog began to dissipate, an unspoken signal passed between them and two of the men stepped together to stand between the remaining two, bowing formally to each other. The two solitary men backed away from the pair in opposite directions until they were almost lost to each other in the murk.
“Brach wishes to commence?” one of the pair said.
The other nodded, his mouth formed into a thin grimace. They both wore dark robes, similar in cut and design. Their heads were shaved and their faces clean-cut. Their age was indeterminate; they appeared young, but something about their youth was edged with the entropy of years. The only thing to distinguish them was that one had blue eyes and the other brown.
“Hjesch as well,” the one with the blue eyes said.
“Then let us commence,” the brown-eyed second said. “We agree that the duel shall be without assistance? There will be no implements or engines, no familiars, and we, of course, shall remain observers only.”
“Agreed. As Hjesch has chosen the place, Brach can choose the element.”
See the rest at Circumambient Scenery.
In A Fash: A new story will be published there every Thursday.